Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

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Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
The Chief Minister of West Bengal Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, addressing at the 52nd National Development Council Meeting at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on December 9, 2006.jpg
Bhattacharjee in December 2006
7th Chief Minister of West Bengal
In office
6 November 2000 – 13 May 2011[1]
GovernorViren J. Shah
Gopalkrishna Gandhi
Devanand Konwar
M. K. Narayanan
Preceded byJyoti Basu
Succeeded byMamata Banerjee
2nd Deputy Chief Minister of West Bengal
In office
12 January 1999 – 5 November 2000[1]
Chief MinisterJyoti Basu
Preceded byJyoti Basu
Succeeded byVacant
Cabinet Minister, Government of West Bengal
In office
Chief MinisterJyoti Basu
Ministry and DepartmentsHome and Hill Affairs
In office
Chief MinisterJyoti Basu
Ministry and DepartmentsInformation and Culture
Member of Legislative Assembly, West Bengal
In office
Preceded byAshok Mitra[2]
Succeeded byManish Gupta
In office
Preceded byPrafulla Kanti Ghosh
Succeeded byPrafulla Kanti Ghosh
Member of Polit Bureau, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
In office
Personal details
Born (1944-03-01) 1 March 1944 (age 78)
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Political partyCommunist Party of India (Marxist)
RelationsSukanta Bhattacharya (uncle)
Residence(s)Palm Avenue, Kolkata
Alma materPresidency College

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee also known as Buddha Babu (born 1 March 1944) is an Indian Communist politician and a former member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He served as the 7th Chief Minister of West Bengal from 2000 to 2011.

At first he was the MLA of Kashipur-Belgachia from 1977 to 1982. Later he became the MLA of Jadavpur on 1987.

He was the MLA of Kashipur-Belgachia constituency for over 5 years and MLA of Jadavpur Constituency for over twenty four years until 13 May 2011, when he was historically defeated by the former Chief Secretary of his own government, Manish Gupta,[3] by 16,684 votes in the 2011 West Bengal election.[3] He is the second West Bengal Chief Minister to lose an election from his own constituency, after Prafulla Chandra Sen in 1967.[4]

Events during his tenure as Chief Minister included attempts to industrialize West Bengal thwarted by the TATA's Tata Motors leaving Bengal in the face of the joint protests of the Trinamool Congress,[5] Socialist Unity Centre of India, and Indian National Congress,[6] the land acquisition dispute in Singur, the Nandigram incident,[7] and the Netai incident.[8]

Early life[edit]

Born in 1944 in north Calcutta, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee belongs to a family which had produced another famous son. Revolutionary poet Sukanta Bhattacharya was his father's cousin. A former student of Sailendra Sircar Vidyalaya,[9] Bhattacharjee had his ancestral house in Bangladesh. He studied Bengali literature at the Presidency College, Kolkata, and secured his B.A. degree in Bengali (Honors), later he joined the CPI(M) as a primary member.[10] Besides taking active part in the food movement, he also supported Vietnam's cause in 1968. He was appointed state secretary of the Democratic Youth Federation, the youth wing of the CPI(M) that was later merged into the Democratic Youth Federation of India.

Political career and controversies[edit]

However, he took the biggest risk of his political career by embarking upon the industrialization drive to change the face of West Bengal, which had agriculture as primary source of income. He deviated from the standard Marxist doctrine to invite foreign and national capital to set up factories in West Bengal. Notable among them was the world's cheapest car, Tata Nano,[11] from a small hamlet near Kolkata called Singur. There were other proposals too, such as country's largest integrated steel plant in Salboni, West Midanpore district by Jindal group, and a chemical hub at Nayachar after it faced agrarian resistance in Nandigram. However, his plans backfired, and his party, along with its front partners, suffered heavy losses in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. In the 2011 state assembly election he was defeated by the Trinamool congress candidate Manish Gupta by 16,684 votes, and the CPI(M) lost power in the state. He was relieved of his posts on the Politburo and Central Committee at the 21st party congress, organised at Vishakhapatnam in 2015.

In January 2006 the Supreme Court of India issued notices to Left Front Government ministers including Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and others in relation to land allotments made in the Salt Lake City township in Kolkata.[12]

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's Government came under heavy criticism for police action against demonstrators in Nandigram in East Midnapore. He was criticized not only by opposition parties (such as the Trinamool congress, Party of Democratic Socialism, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation, Communist Revolutionary League of India and others) and other Left Front coalition allies like Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party (India) and Forward Bloc, who threatened to back out from the ministry on this issue, but also by his mentor and the state's former chief minister, Jyoti Basu. On March 15, 2007 Basu criticized Bhattacharjee for failing to restrain the police in Nandigram.[13] Bhattacharjee expressed regret for the shootings, but claimed that he permitted police action because Nandigram was an "area where there had been no rule of law and no presence of an administration for not one, two or 10 days but for two-and-a-half months, and many hundreds of villagers left Nandigram, and took shelter in a state relief camp outside Nandigram."[14] Actually Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee declared that land in Nandigram won't be acquired by ordering the Nandigram notification to be torn apart.[15][16] Still police were not allowed to enter Nandigram. Roads were dug up, preventing administration from entering the area.[15] The CPI(M) declared that they were totally behind Bhattacharjee and had drawn up "plans" to placate his critics in the Left Front.[17] His government was also criticized by Left supporters for failing to protect the Left party workers (including his own party CPI(M)) who came under assault from political opponents - both right wing and ultra-left wing Maoists during the post-Nandigram turmoil until the end of 7th Left Front Government.

The Padma Bhushan controversy

In January 2022, the Central Government of India bestowed Bhattacharjee with the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India. However, he declined the award and claimed that he had not been informed about the award. He said a call was made to his residence earlier in the day, while adding there is no provision of taking consent for giving Padma awards.[18][19][20][21][22]

Later, the CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury clarified Bhattacharjee's stance in a tweet which said

Former Party PB [Politburo] member & WB [West Bengal] CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya [Bhattacharjee] had this to say on the Padma Bhushan award announcement. “I don't know anything about Padman Bhusan award, none has said anything about it. If I have been given Padma Bhushan I refuse to accept it.”

Published works[edit]

  • Nazi Germany r Jonmo O Mrityu (transl. The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany) (2020)[23]


  1. ^ a b Business Standard (16 May 2011). "Mamata to take over as Bengal CM on Friday". Business-standard.com. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  2. ^ Jadavpur (Vidhan Sabha constituency) (Wikipedia)
  3. ^ a b "Buddhadeb loses at Jadavpur constituency", Hindustan Times, May 14, 2011.
  4. ^ "Buddhadeb loses from Jadavpore" Archived 4 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Yahoo! News, May 13, 2011.
  5. ^ "WB polls: Buddha has himself to blame for Left-front's loss", India Today, May 14, 2011. Archived 17 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ India, One (3 December 2006). "BJP President Rajnath to visit Singur tomorrow".
  7. ^ " Exit Buddhadeb, man who saw beyond ideological convictions", The Economic Times, May 14, 2011. Archived 19 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ " CPM pays for Netai, suffers losses in Junglemahal", Indian Express, May 14, 2011.
  9. ^ [1] Archived 16 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
  11. ^ "The Sunday Times". Timesonline.co.uk. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Court notice to Jyoti Basu", The Hindu, January 24, 2006.
  13. ^ Subir Bhaumik, "India strike over police shooting", BBC News, March 16, 2007.
  14. ^ "Deaths in violence unfortunate, says Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee", The Hindu, March 16, 2007.
  15. ^ a b "National : Deaths in violence unfortunate, says Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee". The Hindu. 16 March 2007. Archived from the original on 25 March 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Tear apart Nandigram notification: Buddhadeb". Rxpgnews.com. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  17. ^ Subrata Nagchoudhury, "Party stands by Buddha, gets restive allies to fall in line", indianexpress.com, March 18, 2007. Archived 17 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refuses Padma Bhushan award". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  19. ^ ""No One Told Me": CPM's Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Rejects Padma Bhushan". NDTV.com. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  20. ^ "Communist veteran Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refuses Padma Bhushan". Hindustan Times. 25 January 2022. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Padma Awards: CPM's Veteran Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Rejects Padma Bhushan". ABP Live. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  22. ^ "Why Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refused the Padma Bhushan". India Today. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  23. ^ Choudhury, Monishankar (5 October 2018). "Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee pens book on Nazi Germany". Sangbad Pratidin (in Bengali). Retrieved 5 April 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Chief Minister of West Bengal
Succeeded by